In the CS:GO year, a lot of tournaments take place. Some have exotic locations going for them, some try to get the best teams with head-spinning prize pools, some have the weight of the game’s developer, Valve, behind them. IEM Katowice has an almost unique selling point — prestige.
Over the years, IEM Katowice has become one of the most prestigious events of the year. With the official title of Intel Extreme Masters – World Championship, it better be.
The event will start on Feb. 27, in Katowice, Poland. 16 of the best CS:GO teams from all over the world will come together and compete for the prize pool of $500,000.
What are the teams?
Astralis, Cloud9, FaZe Clan, G2 Esports, Ninjas in Pyjamas, SK Gaming and Virtus.pro were invited by name, Heroic, North, Fnatic and Gambit Esports came from EU Qualifiers, Team Liquid and Renegades earned their spot in the NA Qualifiers, While TyLoo and ORDER won in the Asian Qualifiers. All of these teams were known for a while but there was still a single empty spot left.
After winning the Farmskins Championship, AVANGAR earned themselves a spot at IEM Katowice.
We’ve last seen AVANGAR at the ELEAGUE Major Boston 2018, where they failed to get out of the Challengers’ Stage. With that said, they went as far as they could, playing through all five rounds of Swiss. They lost to mousesports and Space Soldiers, won against Misfits and Flipsid3 Tactics and finally lost to Quantum Bellator Fire, which meant that that’s where their journey ended.
Does AVANGAR have a chance to go deep at IEM Katowice? Absolutely not. Does it, however, give them a good avenue to expose the brand to wider attention and the players to more difficult competition? Hell yes! If AVANGAR wants to grow as an org, they need to make it to events like this. Yes, they will not win, but it’s still a valuable experience for them.
With that said, the event would have probably been better if AVANGAR was replaced by Space Soldiers.
Another concerning thing we see is that Virtus.pro is still among the teams invited to compete at the event. The Polish Juggernauts have been essentially wasting invite spots in events for the last year or so.